This Summer time has been stuffed with Android telephone bulletins and launches, however not too way back we bought a brand new smartwatch, too. The TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE was introduced in July, however the LTE connectivity that gave it its identify was not accessible till mid-August. After utilizing the TicWatch Professional 4G for a couple of weeks with LTE enabled I’m lastly prepared to present this watch a full evaluate.

Earlier than we dive in, right here’s slightly again story on the TicWatch Professional 4G. The unique TicWatch Professional was launched over a yr in the past with solely Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It was Mobvoi’s first entry into the dearer premium smartwatch territory. The TicWatch Professional 4G retains the identical design and many of the specs however provides extra RAM and LTE connectivity. Can Mobvoi’s greatest {hardware} and intelligent concepts do sufficient to beat Put on OS‘ shortcomings? Let’s discover out.

Specs TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE
Measurement 45.15 x 52.eight x 12.6, 47.4g
Colours Black
Show Glass Gorilla Glass 3
Case Supplies Polyamide & glass fiber, chrome steel bezel, aluminum again cowl
Watchband Silicone (interchangeable), 22mm
OS Put on OS
Telephone compatibility Android, iPhone
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 2100
RAM/Storage 1GB RAM, 4GB storage
Community 4G/LTE FDD
Show 1.39-inch AMOLED (400 x 400 px) + FSTN LCD
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.2 + BLE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS GPS + GLONASS + Beidou
Sensors PPG coronary heart fee sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, e-compass, ambient mild sensor, low latency off-body sensor
NFC funds Sure, Google Pay
Battery 415 mAh
Navy Customary 810G Withstands temperature shock of between -30 °C and 70 °C; operational between -20 °C and 55 °C; 57kpa strain; 44 °C photo voltaic radiation; 95% humidity; salt fog; sand and dirt; shock
IP score IP68 + pool swimming appropriate

TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE Design

Once I take into consideration the design of the TicWatch Professional, one phrase jumps out at me: chunky. There’s no getting round the truth that this can be a large watch. The show is large, the physique is thick, and there’s a whole lot of materials across the watch band lugs. Evaluating the size to different smartwatches in the marketplace, I used to be stunned that it’s really not a lot thicker than the norm. The general design and dimension of the physique simply make it really feel cumbersome.

Watch designs have much more variance than what we see in smartphones in the present day. Meaning there might be individuals who love and individuals who hate the design of each watch. It’s extraordinarily private. The TicWatch Professional isn’t any completely different in that regard. Some individuals love the chunky, industrial, knurled metallic look, whereas others choose a extra clear and easy profile. I are inclined to fall within the latter class, however I don’t discover the TicWatch Professional to be ugly. I’ve had no downside carrying it on my wrist for over a month.

The great factor in regards to the TicWatch Professional’s design is there’s not a whole lot of pointless aptitude. Industrial designed smartwatches usually go excessive attempting to seem like a “real watch” with a faux dial across the show. Mobvoi didn’t go overboard right here. The knurled edges across the show and energy button are simply sufficient to accent the economic design. The included silicone band is first rate sufficient as effectively, however you’ll most likely need to swap it out (the band pictured above is from Clockwork Synergy).

Twin-Layer Show

The TicWatch Professional 4G has the identical show as the unique TicWatch Professional. Meaning a 1.39-inch OLED panel (400 x 400) with an LCD overlay. The twin-layer show is the standout characteristic of this watch so far as I’m involved. It’s a two-pronged method that equals no contains for the wearer. The characteristic is nothing new because it’s the identical one within the authentic TicWatch Professional, however it nonetheless shines.

The OLED show is sweet however not tremendous exceptional. It’s crisp, vivid, and has good colours. You’re paying for a premium watch and that is certainly a premium OLED show. The negatives I might usually speak about with regards to a smartwatch show, reminiscent of visibility in daylight, are solved by the LCD panel.

The LCD show is far simpler to see in direct daylight

That LCD panel is clear and it sits on high of the OLED show. When the OLED show is off, the LCD kicks in to point out the time, date, battery stage, steps, and even coronary heart fee. That’s the place the secondary show actually is useful. One factor that annoys me about smartwatches is you just about must disable the “always-on” show if you need good battery life. With the LCD panel, you get the advantages of an always-on show with out the battery drain.

“Essential Mode” is one other nice characteristic of the secondary show. When the battery reaches critically low ranges, Important Mode kicks in. This mode primarily turns the watch right into a “dumb watch.” You’ll be able to see all the info that’s displayed on the LCD panel (time, date, steps, and so on), however the sensible options (i.e. the OLED) are inaccessible. This enables the watch to stay helpful for a very long time after a standard smartwatch can be lifeless weight in your wrist.

There may be one factor that I want the secondary show had: customization. The “watch face” that’s proven on the LCD can’t be modified. It’s a wonderfully acceptable watch face, however I’d love to have the ability to customise the clock font or determine which info is displayed.

4G LTE Connectivity

Connectivity sign power

LTE is clearly an enormous a part of the TicWatch Professional 4G. In any case, it’s within the identify of the gadget. It’s additionally an enormous deal for Put on OS as a platform as that is the primary gadget with Google’s smartwatch OS to have LTE connectivity (Android Put on had a couple of). You’ll be able to solely use the TicWatch on Verizon’s LTE community, which does cowl most locations, however it’s unlucky to solely have one provider selection. That is the primary watch I’ve had with mobile connectivity, so I used to be very curious to see how it might influence my utilization.

A typical smartwatch stays related to your telephone with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Mainly, so long as you keep in the identical constructing your watch might be related. Including LTE to the combination means you possibly can go wherever. The watch will all the time be capable to talk together with your telephone. You’ll nonetheless get notifications and be capable to use Put on OS apps on the watch. As long as your telephone is related to the web someplace, the watch will operate like regular.

The TicWatch Professional 4G requires its personal line on Verizon, so it’s also possible to make calls, settle for calls, and ship/obtain textual content messages. This all occurs independently out of your telephone. If you wish to depart your telephone at house rather a lot, this can be a handy method to keep related with out a cumbersome telephone in your pocket. LTE permits the watch to primarily function as slightly telephone in your wrist.

With all of the positives apart, there’s one factor that has constantly popped in my head whereas testing the LTE options: Put on OS isn’t prepared for this. Most Put on OS apps nonetheless require a direct connection to the telephone (i.e. Bluetooth). Spotify for Put on OS doesn’t help listening to music on the watch (Google Play Music does). The Fb Messenger app doesn’t help viewing conversations; all you are able to do is reply to notifications. I’ve additionally had blended outcomes with really receiving notifications after I depart my telephone at house. I appear to overlook some after I’m utilizing LTE.

In my testing, battery life with LTE enabled is considerably worse than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solely. With LTE enabled I might barely get by means of the day earlier than Important Mode kicked in. With out LTE, I used to be capable of simply make it by means of the day with out Important Mode. This seemingly has rather a lot to do with the reception in my space. I don’t get an amazing Verizon sign at my home, so the watch was looking for it rather a lot. Extra on battery life in a while.

Sadly, at its present state, I don’t suppose LTE on a Put on OS gadget is a compelling promoting level. There are occasions when it is useful, however I don’t suppose it justifies paying for an additional telephone line. If you end up wishing you possibly can depart your telephone behind rather a lot, possibly it’s value it. I went into this being fairly skeptical of mobile connectivity on a smartwatch and I really feel like my preconceived notions had been appropriate.

TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE Efficiency & Battery Life

Testing the efficiency of a gadget is normally reliant on evaluating it to one thing else. Does it really feel quicker or slower? I haven’t used a Put on OS watch in a very long time, however all I hear about is the way it’s gradual and laggy. The TicWatch Professional 4G has the older Snapdragon Put on 2100 processor and 1GB of RAM, which apparently makes a fairly large distinction in efficiency in comparison with the unique with solely 512MB. I can’t touch upon the way it compares, however to me, Put on OS is kinda sluggish.

The efficiency points had been extraordinarily noticeable whereas performing the preliminary setup. Apps had been being put in within the background, the Put on OS tutorial stored popping up, and the watch was stuttering badly. I feared the efficiency was even worse than all the things I had heard. Fortunately, as soon as all the things was put in and the setup was full, issues bought higher.

Nonetheless, in comparison with Tizen 4.0/One UI 1.Zero on my Samsung Gear Sport, Put on OS nonetheless feels slower. It did get higher the extra acquainted I bought with the OS, however after I went again to the Gear Sport I used to be instantly reminded of how a lot snappier it feels. That’s not nice while you’re going from a model new gadget to at least one that’s over 2 years previous.

All of that being stated, I don’t suppose efficiency is a sufficiently big difficulty to not advocate this watch. In case you’re available in the market for a Put on OS gadget, efficiency is simply one thing you’re going to must reside with, and I do imagine 1GB of RAM makes a distinction.

Battery Life

The TicWatch Professional 4G is supplied with a 415mAh battery, the identical dimension as the unique TicWatch Professional. As talked about within the LTE part, utilizing the mobile connection has a huge impact on battery life. Nonetheless, even after I disabled LTE and used it with simply Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, I used to be slightly disenchanted within the battery.

In case you use the LTE connection rather a lot, you’ll completely must cost the TicWatch Professional 4G each night time and possibly run into Important Mode earlier than the day is over. With LTE disabled, I used to be capable of comfortably get by means of the day, however I didn’t have sufficient left to maintain it off the charger in a single day. I might qualify this as good battery life, however it’s actually not nice.

Once more, I’ve to check to the opposite smartwatch in my life, the Samsung Gear Sport. The Gear Sport has a smaller 300mAh battery, however it vastly outperforms the TicWatch Professional 4G. I can go practically three days on a cost with the Gear Sport. The truth is, I don’t even hold the charger in my bed room. It’s adequate that I don’t deliver the charger with me if I’m going to be away from house for the weekend.

Just like the efficiency points, I see this as extra of a Put on OS downside than a TicWatch Professional 4G downside. Tizen/One UI appears to be a extra environment friendly smartwatch OS. Mobvoi is attempting laborious to beat the Put on OS shortcomings with Important Mode and the nice dual-layer show, however battery life remains to be simply okay.

Software program & Health

I’ve already been robust on Put on OS with regards to efficiency points, however now it’s time to speak about the way it really capabilities. It was fascinating to go from Tizen/One UI to Put on OS as a result of the 2 have very completely different approaches to navigation. Tizen/One UI is a extra button-heavy expertise, whereas Put on OS makes use of extra gestures.

At first, Put on OS simply felt improper as a result of I used to be so used to utilizing a button to go Again. Nonetheless, as I’ve gotten used to it, I feel I really choose the swipe gesture. As somebody who lives in a colder local weather, I actually recognize bodily enter (gloves make {that a} necessity), however the swipe gesture feels extra pure.

One other factor that Put on OS does higher, at the very least for my part, is notifications. You’ll be able to rapidly and simply swipe a notification away when it pops up in your watch. Tizen/One UI makes you faucet a button and scroll right down to “Clear notifications.” I typically like the way in which notifications are designed and introduced as effectively.

General, I just like the design of Put on OS and for probably the most half it’s intuitive to make use of. Despite the fact that my mind was hardwired to do issues the Tizen/One UI manner, it didn’t take lengthy to choose up Put on OS. One other benefit Put on OS has is a significantly better app and watch face choice. I don’t use a whole lot of apps on my Gear Sport, however I did on the TicWatch Professional 4G.

Health

You’ll be able to’t speak about a smartwatch with out mentioning the health options. That’s one of many benefits of getting a tool that’s bodily in your physique always: it could possibly observe exercise. Mobvoi consists of their very own suite of health apps in addition to Google Match, however they’re fairly commonplace fare.

TicExcersice is a exercise monitoring app that you should use to manually begin one among six exercises presets. TicPulse is for coronary heart fee monitoring and it could possibly passively take your coronary heart fee with minimal battery drain. Most fun to me was TicMotion, which is an AI-powered app that’s alleged to routinely observe runs and walks. Sadly, I discovered this to be fairly unreliable.

Firstly, it didn’t all the time detect after I was doing an exercise. I attempted it with strolling, biking, operating, and normal actions. When it did detect I used to be doing one thing it might take some time to begin and it might finish in a short time if I finished for a second. After which it might fail to restart once more.

Now, I hate to maintain citing the Tizen/One UI, however Samsung actually nails the auto-tracking characteristic. The Gear Sport does an amazing job of differentiating between strolling, operating, and biking. It can even give me credit score for an “Other workout” if I’m doing yard work. I like that. I used to be excited in regards to the TicMotion characteristic, however if you need correct exercise monitoring you might want to begin them manually.

Conclusion

Reviewing a smartwatch may be very completely different from reviewing a telephone. Once we evaluate Android telephones it’s simple to easily examine to different Android telephones. However with smartwatches, Android customers have two platforms to select from: Put on OS or Tizen/One UI. The TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE has two paths of competitors.

When it comes to Put on OS units, the TicWatch Professional 4G is definitely top-of-the-line if not the greatest you will get proper now. The twin-layer show is a genuinely game-changing characteristic. I now need it on each smartwatch I take advantage of. Additionally, in the event you’re desirous about LTE connectivity, the TicWatch Professional 4G is basically your solely selection.

Efficiency-wise, the TicWatch Professional 4G appears to be the perfect you will get proper now for Put on OS. Whereas the battery life isn’t phenomenal, it’s not catastrophically unhealthy both. The health options depart rather a lot to be desired, however it’s essential to understand that this can be a smartwatch first, health tracker second.

In case you’re available in the market for a Put on OS smartwatch, I’ve no downside recommending the TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE. Even in the event you don’t want the LTE connectivity, I feel it’s value it for the 1GB of RAM. The watch is accessible from Amazon and Mobvoi’s website for $299.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re not dedicated to Put on OS, I do suppose Samsung’s watches supply a extra polished smartwatch expertise. You miss issues like Google Assistant and Google Pay, after all, however the trade-off is value it for my part. Some individuals assume that Samsung watches are just for Samsung telephones, however that’s merely not true.

Google is letting down corporations like Mobvoi with the present state of Put on OS. The TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE is a good piece of {hardware} that’s held again by software program. I hope Google takes Put on OS significantly sometime as a result of units just like the TicWatch Professional 4G/LTE deserve it.

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